Ahwatukee Foothills News: Healthy Kids

Healthy Kids

Tuesday 08/26/2014
Dietary supplements: Kids can be informed consumers
Posted: August 26, 2014

At schools such as Mountain Pointe in Ahwatukee, students take a fitness education class designed to help them become physically literate and meet Arizona Department of Education standards for physical education. One of the standards requires students to “demonstrate understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to learning and performance of physical activities.” Two specific performance outcomes describe student expectations. Specifically students must be able to: (1) “Explain the difference between facts and myths related to physical activity,” and (2) “Identify and describe products that enhance or prohibit levels of physical activity.”

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Wednesday 06/11/2014
Kids need an active summer
Updated: August 26, 2014 - 11:02 am

Now that school is out for the summer it is time to consider ways to encourage kids to be active. We know that school activities such as recess, physical education, classroom exercise breaks, and before- and after-school physical activities all contribute significantly to meeting national guidelines for physical activity (60 minutes per day recommended). Research also indicates that many kids are sedentary during the summer months, getting less moderate to vigorous activity than during the school year. So when school is out it is important for kids to find other opportunities for exercise.

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Thursday 05/15/2014
There is work to be done if our Ahwatukee youth are to be active and fit
Updated: August 26, 2014 - 11:02 am

In 2008 the United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) appointed a committee of national experts to revise existing physical activity guidelines to include recommended amounts of physical activity for people of all ages (www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines). The guidelines for children recommended:

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Thursday 03/20/2014
Don’t sacrifice your child’s physical, health literacy
Updated: August 26, 2014 - 11:02 am

Literacy refers to being educated or cultured. If pressed to define literacy, most people would cite the three Rs (Reading, wRiting, and aRitmatic). But modern definitions include literacy in other important areas including: computer/technology, science, humanities (including art and music), health, and physical literacy. We all want our children to be competent in the 3 Rs, and science. Most now recognize the need for computer/technology literacy. Other areas of literacy are often deemed less important. For example, the Scottsdale schools are currently considering cutting music, art, and physical education programs to save money. When finances are tight, these areas of literacy are often neglected. All to frequently these subjects are pitted against each other, ignoring the fact that the “whole child” comes to school, and that literacy in all three areas is critical to overall learning and child well-being.

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Wednesday 10/09/2013
Whole school approach to wellness in Ahwatukee
Updated: August 26, 2014 - 11:02 am

Wellness is a term that has gained in popularity in recent years. Wellness is used as a name for a variety of products and programs, and as a result the term is sometimes misused. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Digest defines wellness as “a multidimensional state of being describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being.” Adopting healthy lifestyles, including being regularly active and eating well, are “processes” that lead to the “products” of health and wellness.

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Monday 08/19/2013
August is Drowning Impact Awareness Month
Updated: November 14, 2013 - 4:25 pm

Headlines involving celebrities are often frivolous, but the recent 911 call made from Usher’s home was no laughing matter. His 5-year-old son, Usher Raymond V., had become trapped in a pool drain. He was rescued, given CPR, and is expected to recover.

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Tuesday 07/30/2013
Get psyched for sports
Updated: November 03, 2013 - 4:26 pm

Sports psychology is the scientific understanding of the mental side of human excellence. Sports psychology services are highly praised and utilized across all sports, because of the equal importance of the mental and physical aspects of the athletes.

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Wednesday 05/08/2013
Parents can help their children by implementing ‘Get Active! Let’s Move!'
Updated: August 26, 2014 - 11:02 am

In the United States the average kid (age 8-18) spends 7.5 hours a day in front of a screen or on the phone. To counter sedentary living patterns, national physical activity guidelines for youth have been developed. The guidelines call for at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for children and teens. The guidelines are based on the amount of physical activity necessary to promote good fitness, health, and wellness. Only 29 percent of high school students meet the 60-minute daily guideline and 14 percent don’t do any physical activity that causes them to breathe hard or that increases heart rate on any day during the week.

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Thursday 02/21/2013
Testing muscle fitness in youth
Updated: March 24, 2014 - 8:29 am

In a previous column I discussed the PACER, a test of cardiovascular fitness that is part of the national youth physical fitness test battery (FITNESSGRAM). FITNESSGRAM, was developed at the Cooper Institute in Dallas and is now offered as a cooperative program with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition (PCFSN) and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD). In addition to assessing cardiovascular fitness, the FITNESSGRAM Test Battery includes tests of muscle fitness, flexibility, and body composition.

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Saturday 02/16/2013
Furniture tip-overs among top hidden hazards in homes
Updated: November 14, 2013 - 4:25 pm

As the stores take down the Valentine’s Day decorations and hang up shamrocks, you might be at home smiling at that fantastic flat-screen TV you bought for the big game. Between the holiday sales and the Super Bowl, prices couldn’t have been better. And the technology is, well, just so cool. The choices make my head spin and make TVs just a few years old seem like no comparison at all.

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Wednesday 12/26/2012
Testing cardiovascular fitness in our youth
Updated: March 18, 2014 - 10:14 am

Cardiovascular fitness is generally considered to be the most important component of health-related physical fitness. Other commonly used terms for cardiovascular fitness include cardiorespiratory endurance, aerobic fitness, and aerobic capacity. The national youth physical fitness test (FITNESSGRAM), developed at the Cooper Institute in Dallas, is now offered as a cooperative program with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition (PCFSN) and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD). The recommended test for youth in the FITNESSGRAM battery is called the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER).

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Saturday 12/22/2012
Can mobile devices really impair us the same way alcohol can?
Updated: February 18, 2014 - 8:41 am

Don’t tell anyone, but I am old enough to remember things like cooking before microwaves, and being excited about really, really slow video games. I remember people smoking on planes and a time before the term “designated driver.”

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Tuesday 11/06/2012
Youth physical fitness tests have changed over time
Updated: January 09, 2014 - 4:46 pm

Parents of school-aged kids may remember taking a physical fitness test that involved running the 50-yard dash and performing a zig-zag run (shuttle run) along with other tests such as the pull-up. Grandparents may remember throwing a softball, running or walking 600 yards, or doing the flexed arm hang. Over time youth physical fitness tests have changed. Now the national test, called FITNESSGRAM, produced by the Cooper Institute in Dallas and co-sponsored by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition and the American Alliance for Health Physical Education and Recreation, includes test items that relate to health rather than sports-related test items included in earlier tests.

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Saturday 10/20/2012
Communicating early will give your child a strong sense of self, protection against future bullies
Updated: November 14, 2013 - 4:25 pm

Social media creates such an interesting window into the world. Yes, it tells us we’re obsessed with dancing baby animals, but it also gives us a look at the better side of ourselves. It tells us what we share, and apparently, being the victim of a bully is a top shared experience.

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Wednesday 10/03/2012
ADHD and ADD are biological, brain-based conditions
Updated: September 24, 2013 - 4:19 pm

Unmotivated? Poor grades? Lazy?

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Friday 09/28/2012
Maricopa urging insured to have children get vaccines from family doctors
Updated: December 07, 2012 - 12:29 pm

Thousands of insured children who may have received vaccines from county health departments are now being encouraged to go to their family doctors for their shots.

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Tuesday 09/18/2012
Is your child’s backpack wearing them down?
Updated: January 14, 2013 - 3:52 pm

From elementary to college students, many use backpacks to help carry everything from books to food and more throughout the school day, but could those backpacks be putting our children’s bodies in harm’s way? Backpacks can actually be especially taxing on the back, neck and shoulders if worn incorrectly.

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Thursday 09/13/2012
Consider exercise challenge as means of promoting good family health
Updated: May 07, 2013 - 10:56 am

For youth, national guidelines for physical activity call for 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. The most recent survey indicates that less than 50 percent of youth get 60 minutes of activity five days a week and about one quarter get 60 minutes of activity on all days of the week. Fourteen percent are totally sedentary — have no days during the week when they get 60 minutes of activity. One third of youth spend three or more hours a day playing video or computer games that are not schoolwork related and one third spend three or more hours a day watching television.

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Thursday 05/17/2012
Kid Sports: Avoiding ‘paralysis by analysis’
Updated: December 24, 2012 - 12:07 pm

When performing a skill such as in batting in softball or baseball, providing feedback (information) can help a person to make corrections and improve performance. But too much feedback or information can lead to “paralysis by analysis.” Paralysis by analysis refers to the inability to focus on the general performance of the skill because of excessive information.

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Tuesday 03/20/2012
Silence is bad when it comes to your child and water
Updated: February 14, 2013 - 4:23 pm

As a child, I never appreciated that old cliché, “Silence is golden.” I thought silence was boring, and preferred music, or the sounds of my friends chatting away.

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Desert Vista Thunder Football Preview 2014

The Thunder look to return to their winning ways behind a talented junior class and a group of...


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